How terribly, terribly, weird

George Monbiot is criticising Malthus? But but….his entire worldview is based on the idea that Malthus is right, that we just keep on breeding until we run out of everything.

Sigh.

Far from undermining employment, poor relief sustained rural workers during the winter months, ensuring that they remained available for hire when they were needed by farms in the spring and summer. By contrast to the loss of agricultural productivity that Malthus predicted and the commission reported, between 1790 and 1834 wheat production more than doubled.

As Block and Somers point out, the rise in unemployment and extreme poverty in the 1820s and 1830s represented the first great failure of Ricardian, laissez-faire economics.

Fuck all laissez faire about the corn laws, was there? And then we abolished those, getting more laissez faire, and things improved…..

21 thoughts on “How terribly, terribly, weird”

  1. Despite the implications of being a columnist on a national newspaper (ie that he should have intelligence/expertise enough to understand the topic he is writing about –and any wider contexts that topic touches) he hasn’t got a ****** clue.

    I could be a columnist and make vastly more sense.. Indeed the missing word above is my attempt to clean up my act such that I might also pen a regular missive to errant humanity.On behalf of Britain’s leading left-wing newspaper and for a mere six figures.

    My first piece would probably be entitled “Why the Guardian must burn along with all the middle-class Marxist scum who read and support it”. Can’t wait to see the comments.

  2. Not that I’m an unalloyed fan of BJ but his invocation to noisome black cab drivers yet again leaps to mind when Moonbat squeezes out more of his poo into “print” .

    As to the uncritical, enthusiastic re-broadcasters and parroters of Monbiot’s deranged bilge – they can do the same many times over….

  3. His criticism of Malthus makes sense to me. If you believe in finite growth and limited resources then you have to oppose unfettered immigration. Or perhaps the Left have no need of logic.

  4. “Or perhaps the Left have no need of logic.”

    Beyond the compelling logic of “what serves our purposes for the next 5 minutes”, no.

  5. GJR Monbiot, educated Stowe and Oxford, is just another of those who, having been brought up in comfort and prosperity, is determined to ensure that subsequent generations don’t enjoy the advantages he had.

  6. Although in one famous paper Malthus attempts to stay strictly impartial, he came round to being pretty much in favour of the Corn Laws. Like Marx, he realised that abolishing the Corn Laws might lower the price of bread but that industrialists would then lower wages.You can hardly say that not being self sufficient in food and having to export loads of manufactured goods in order to have the wherewithal to buy foodstuff back from immense distances and from markets beyond our control has worked very well. A more reasonable balance between home-produced agriculture and manufacture might have , and might still, prove better.

  7. So Much for Subtlety

    DBC Reed – “Although in one famous paper Malthus attempts to stay strictly impartial, he came round to being pretty much in favour of the Corn Laws.”

    Malthus was just ahead of his time. He should have called them “the Common European Agricultural Policy” and the Left would have fallen over themselves to endorse them.

    I mean any government policy is fine as long as those more sophisticated, sensible, intelligent French politicians support it. Who cares about the English poor?

  8. DBC Reed

    “You can hardly say that not being self sufficient in food and having to export loads of manufactured goods in order to have the wherewithal to buy foodstuff back from immense distances and from markets beyond our control has worked very wel”

    Lol. Apart from the huge increase in population and the creation of an industrial and trading empire which dominated the world for half a century?

    And, as another poster asked, when was the last famine? Dont you think that a policy which rejects diverse sources of food in favour of ‘localism’ is more likely to result in catastrophic food shortages?

    In fact, our food supply policy for the last century and a half has now worked so ‘badly’ that the Left are now using alleged mass obesity as yet another lever towards collectivism and State control.

  9. I studied History at University and the analysis in the Monbiot article would not even merit a third – a disgraceful calumny which evidences what Sir Ernst Gombrich called ‘the amputation of the time dimension from our culture’ – as TomO says, won’t stop the unthinking Epsilon minus semi morons who constitute his readership from parroting it, though…

  10. Monbiot’s just a useful idiot for the Graun’s agenda-pushers, but the herds of followers flock to any view which justifies preventing poor (dark-skinned, natch) Africans and Asians from getting enough to eat.

  11. DBC is so right again.

    Just the other day in my local Waitrose, as I was mindlessly throwing a second packet of arborio rice into my basket, I stopped and thought “Indeed, every drop in the price of a consumer good has been followed by a drop in living standards. Something must be done!”

  12. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The idea that half the population of Europe dying off increased wages for the rest would seem to be the ultimate expression of the Broken Window Fallacy.

  13. Think of us poor souls in China. We go to a Carrefore and have to fill our shopping trollies with French Cheeses and wines, German beers, Italian cold cuts, Japanese sashimi, Argentinian beef…. we often sit around longing for a return to the golden age of the Great Leap Forward.

  14. Ah Moan-Bigot, he’s moved to the area where I grew up in Mid Wales. It’s a very rural hill farming area, which Monbiot seems to thing is a terrible thing and should be stopped. To say the response locally was less that supportive was an understatement…

    This would also be the idiot who moved to Mid Wales and was convinced he and his family wouldn’t need a car, and had to make an embarrassing climbdown when he bought a Clio.

  15. Another one for framing: globalised free trade has been such a success with neo-Imperialist USA commandeering raw materials and commodities in the Middle East that people are ungratefully fleeing the wars and interference in their
    countries and drowning on their way to Free Trade Europe which only believes in free movement of traded goods and capital.Britain began to question Free Trade with Chamberlain in the 1870’s: millions of British people subsequently died fighting for Free Trade; more than would have succumbed to famine.Look how well fed British men of fighting age were in the Boer War recruiting figures .Some of them were too small to bear arms.

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